Paul Lips, Renate T de Jongh, Natasja M van Schoor

PMID: 34950837 PMCID: PMC8674774 DOI: 10.1002/jbm4.10585


Vitamin D status varies across all continents and countries. Vitamin D status usually is adequate in Latin America and Australia, but in contrast it is very low in the Middle East and some countries in Asia. Trends in vitamin D status, whether it improves or declines over the years, carry important messages. Trends usually are small, but can be predictors and indicators of general health. Vitamin D status has improved in the older population in the United States, and improvement relates to dairy use and vitamin D supplements. To the contrary, vitamin D status has declined in the Inuit population of Canada due to a change from a traditional fish diet to a Western diet. A large improvement was seen in Finland after mandatory fortification of dairy products was introduced. Determinants of decline are less sun exposure, increased use of sunscreen, increase of body mass index (BMI), less physical activity, and poor socioeconomic status. Determinants of increase are food fortification with vitamin D and vitamin D supplements. Food fortification can lead to a population‐wide increase in vitamin D status as shown by the Finnish example. © 2021 The Authors. JBMR Plus published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.


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